Anyone out there owning own business and suffered TBI?

My husband is a partner in his business therefore the employer not employee. He is making great progress following accident in January and feels ready to start doing some basic tasks but feels like everyone is trying to prevent him or that he can't possibly be ready yet - how do they know? This is our life and no one seems to understand how important this is. If he doesn't try to do some things how will he know if he can or not. Just wondered if anyone out there has any experience of this?

10 Replies

We all have to go at our own pace, since he's the employer then he can get out there and try just be prepared for it being too soon, on the other hand how will he know unless he tries? I can't work again, for a while I fooled myself into thinking I would be able to but the tribunal hearing finally made me realise there was no chance, very upsetting to hear someone else say you're not fit to work, apart from the fatigue, I'd never pass a risk assessment!

So I say give it a go, but dongles him push himse

F too far, don't want the good work already done being undone

Good luck Janet xxx


Whats that last sentence about, just shows you how things don't always come out the way you want them,

I wrote, or thought I did, don't let him push himself too far



Lol Janet, no worries!


Slow and simple start with no major decisions.

I started back to work an hour a day in the beginning. It took me a while to adjust to this and the effects were accumulating.

It wasn't till I tried to go back that I realised how very difficult seeming ordinary and everyday tasks had become.

I couldn't take a telephone message because I would have forgotten what wa said and who it was by the time I'd

Put the phone down. It can be soul destroying to realise there is more going on in your head than you are awar of. It was awful, my colleagues could see I was not in a good way and found it hard to let me do things.


Your man did have quite a serious injury, and fairly recently, so perhaps he needs to treat this purely as an experiment (to avoid any disappointment). We're unaware of our limitations until we test ourselves, at which point the results can be quite a shock and your man might need reminding to keep his expectations low, in the

short term at least.

Some folk do surprise themselves & others, but it's really very early days for your husband's recovery so he needs to stay aware that the healing of his brain won't be completed for some considerable time................and that healing requires plenty of rest & an avoidance of too much stress.

But enthusiasm and optimism can be very valuable assets after a brain injury so he has a head-start there. (honestly no pun intended) :-/

Good luck to you both........... Cat x


It is hard. It is true he needs to try to see what he can do but to try too soon can be soul destroying. Maybe they can keep him in the loop by giving him some stuff to look over to keep him up to speed with what is going on so when the time comes to return he will be up to date. This will help him to figure out how well his cognitive processes are working. A phased return is almost always the best route to take. Limited time in the office to help manage fatigue and gradual responsibility add ons are the norm.... even when he is the boss.

I hope you can find something that will work. These are challenging times.


Hi,I have my own business and had my tbi in nov 13. I was desperate to get back to it as I love it and no work means no pay!! I was told to go back gradually so as to flag up any areas I struggled in and then be able to find ways of coping. Also should your husband need stuff adapting for him be it equipment or support worker to be able to work there is funding available from the goverment called ACCESS TO WORK who where more than helpful. All the best, kate


after I got brain damage + other things from a vaccination I tried to work I was self employed, life and work was difficult to say the least jobs that were easy for me now took three times as long I took on less work the tablets I was taking made me worse so I just had to pack it in no choice it was costing more to run the business than I was taking, so I would say give it your best shot and if it is not working pack it in there is more to life as hard as it may be, I put 100% into my business was succesfull and now it is all gone but I am still here, good luck and take care.


A big thank you to everyone for their replies. Some good advice and he will definitely be looking at a phased return which will no doubt indicate some coping strategies needed. The business is still being run well and he has very dedicated staff. Only problem area seems to me is that because people don't understand brain injury they don't think he can do anything, however those that have met and spent time with him more recently have seen a big improvement. Are the medical profession scared of something? His OT said she has never seen anyone making such good progress so soon after a serious injury and she seems so pleased for him unlike some other people. I feel I'm trapped between the two and just want to help him return to what and who he was as near as possible - a very positive, fit, determined man and he's still like this now! He's currently gardening after a morning on his PC doing some literacy work.

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Yes I am self employed and work from home now which therefore allows me to work at a pace that suits me as fatigue, headaches and there are days that I just can not cope. This even so many years after the initial recovery from TBI.

Am fortunate I have a partner who supports me as I do them which is more than I can say from anywhere else.

Brief employment outline ;

First after hospital and rehabilitation centre

I then had started back at the company I had worked for and to what I could cope Increased as I could the hours. I had a few issues I learnt to mask.

As no longer able to do my previous role working from a laboratory as worked unusual hours opposite my work colleague to cover 24 hours.

So worked in the laboratory day times only in colour matching then development until redundancy.

Then moved away to work in care work with a brief spell of unemployment, self employment, then other forms of work ending in part time cash accounts book keeping.

Before moved in with my partner in Wales and went back into other forms of care work then I was having issues which made me go unemployed and was suggested go self employed. One night had a massive fit and caused some problems anxiety etc but still remain self employed which then leads back to the beginning paragraph.


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